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How to annotate PDFs on your Mac

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How to annotate PDFs on your Mac

Taking notes is a great way to learn faster and better remember what you read. Annotating is also helpful when you want to provide feedback to others, from marking up student homework to sharing your thoughts on your colleague’s presentation.

Wondering how to annotate a PDF on Mac? Try PDF Expert, the go-to PDF app for Mac, trusted by millions of people and awarded by Apple.

Download PDF Expert for free and let's jump in!

How to highlight a PDF on Mac

Highlights make a document’s key points stand out at a glance and help you quickly recall them later. You can also color-code your notes to navigate them faster. For example, you can use yellow for key ideas and green for names and book titles.

How to highlight PDF text:

  1. Get PDF Expert for free.
  2. Click Annotate on the toolbar.
  3. Select one of the tools: Highlight , Underline , or Strikeout.
  4. Click and drag the text you’d like to annotate. 
  5. You can change the colors on the right sidebar. To tweak an existing highlight, right-click on it and select a different color.

All your annotations are available on the left sidebar, so you can easily skim through them and find the most valuable content faster.

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How to add notes to a PDF

Another helpful tool is sticky notes. Use them to jot down your ideas while reading or writing summaries for each chapter:

  1. Open your file in PDF Expert and click Annotate.
  2. Select Note Note tool icon.
  3. Click where you want to add a note.
  4. Type your comments and click anywhere on the document to save the changes.

You can also right-click the selected area of text and pick Note. That's it!

How to draw in a PDF

With PDF Expert, you can draw or sketch anything – from simple shapes to sophisticated graphs, mind maps, and many more:

  1. Launch PDF Expert and click Annotate.
  2. Select the Pen Pen tool icon tool. You can adjust the color, opacity, and thickness on the sidebar.
  3. Draw or write anything you wish!
  4. You can wipe out extra elements using the EraserErase tool icon tool.

How to add shapes to a PDF

PDF Expert makes it pretty straightforward to insert different shapes like arrows or rectangles to your document:

  1. Go to the Annotate tab in PDF Expert.
  2. Pick the Shape Shape tool tool.
  3. Select the desired shape and tweak its color, thickness, and opacity on the sidebar.
  4. Click where you want to insert a shape. Then, you can drag and resize it the way you wish.

How to add stamps to a PDF

Stamps are handy for drawing attention to a particular part of a document. Use dozens of existing stamps such as "Approved" or "Void” or create custom ones:

  1. Select Annotate on the toolbar.
  2. Pick the Stamp Stamp tooltool.
  3. Select the desired stamp and drop it into your document.
  4. To create your own stamp, jump to the Custom tab.
  5. Click + to create a new stamp. You can type your custom text as well as upload an image.

How to download annotations from a PDF

Export your notes as a separate file to keep them handy. This helps you quickly recall the document’s key points and your thoughts on them without browsing the entire file.

Here's how:

  1. Click File in the top left corner of the screen.
  2. Select Export Annotation Summary as.
  3. Choose the desired file format and click Save.

How to remove all annotations from a PDF

Need to clear your file from all your notes? PDF Expert lets you do it in seconds:

  1. Open your PDF file.
  2. Select Edit in the top left corner of the screen.
  3. Click Remove all Annotations.

PDF Expert has all the tools you need to annotate any PDF effortlessly. Give it a try!

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